I commend the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations and Local 32BJ SEIU for its commitment to strengthening the real estate industry through a practical agreement based on good profitability. In particular, I would like to congratulate Howard Rothschild, Chairman of the Realty Advisory Board, Hector Figueroa, President of 32BJ, and the members of the two negotiating teams for re-modeling a successful relationship between employment and labour services and for concluding an agreement that adequately compensates workers and protects their benefits for 13 days from the expiry of contracts. The Real Estate Board of New York is proud to represent the New York industry in providing quality union jobs, providing quality wages and benefits to workers. I very much appreciate the work of all 32BJ, including the 23,000 commercial building service employees who work tirelessly to maintain our sector. Last Friday, the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RAB) announced that it had entered into a four-year interim employment contract with SEIU Local 32BJ, the union representing building employees in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The agreement – reached 13 days before the deadline – includes more than 23,000 operators, janitors, lobby supervisors and some security experts in more than 1,200 commercial properties. This contract of employment, in addition to the growing workforce of Local 32BJ in solid middle-class jobs, will allow the New York real estate industry to remain healthy, whose importance cannot be greatly appreciated – if the real estate industry is healthy, it is a vital resource for the New York economy, which cannot be easily replaced. Last year, annual real estate taxes generated $16.4 billion, or 41% of all city taxes. This $16.4 billion represents a 6% increase over 2013, and the 41% share of the city`s total taxes is also 3 percentage points higher than in 2013.
The new contract is another example of how the real estate industry, through high-income real estate in all five neighborhoods, continues to help make New York City a great place to live, work and raise a family. Agreements such as those between rab and local 32BJ are essential for the city`s wheels to run. The preliminary agreement, subject to ratification by union members and the RAB Board of Directors, provides for an average salary increase of 2.69% per year on the four-year contract and will increase the total salary of a typical office cleaner from approximately $49,760 to $55,324 – an overall increase of 10.75%. It also implies a new obligation for each party to achieve additional cost savings and efficiency gains together in order to keep health costs low. After ratification, the contract will be extended until 31 December 2019. Interim agreement between RAB and Local 94. 32BJ increases effective January 1, 2019 RAB-Local 32BJ, SEIU Negotiations on the renewal of commercial construction and contract contracts effective January 1, 2020.